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  • Jo Fontana

Sunken Forest, A Magical Place


Part of the research I needed to do for my upcoming book, Gods of the Bay, centers around the Great South Bay and Fire Island. A few scenes involved Sunken Forest, a place I hadn’t been to since I was small enough to be pulled around in a Radio Flyer wagon by my brothers.


Sunken Forest is a rare maritime forest that developed between the dunes of Fire Island. It’s sandwiched between the ocean and bay, protected by sand dunes on either side. The easiest way to get to it is by Ferry unless you have a boat. Here is the link to it in case anyone would like to learn more. https://www.nps.gov/fiis/planyourvisit/sunken-forest.htm


After I arrived, I realized that I’d have to take a few creative liberties, but for the most part, stayed true to the spirit of the place, or at least, the spirit of the place I remembered from so long ago. It seemed much denser than when I first saw it and that inspired hope that conservation efforts are working.


Part of me would have liked to have kept this place a secret, but that could be detrimental to conservation efforts. Why would anyone want to save a place they’ve never heard of? Whatever the fate of Sunken Forest in the book, please know that I love it and it’s one of my favorite places on the planet. It should be preserved, but its fate is questionable due to global warming and rising seas.

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© 2018 Jo Fontana